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In the latter half of the 19th century, Silver City and Grant County established some of the first public educational facilities in the Territory of New Mexico. This focus on the importance of public education helped this remote corner of southwestern New Mexico attain economic and cultural prominence. The recognition of education as a community value continued through the 20th century and in influences the area’s current social structure and economic position into the 21st century. Several prominent New Mexicans benefited from the foresight of those who fought for education.In her presentation, Mikols will explore how Silver City and Grant County began and maintained these resources and how these educational initiatives helped shape local history.Liz Mikols enjoys sharing the stories about local and New Mexico history with others. She has presented numerous papers to the Historical Society of New Mexico (HSNM), the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL) and the Silver City Museum. A member of the Speaker’s Bureau for HSNM, she has given numerous talks and Chautauqua performances through the State of New Mexico.